I am not Mexican!

This is a discussion on I am not Mexican! within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; There's nothing wrong with being Mexican; I'm just tired of explaining why I don't speak Spanish. Nashville has a large Hispanic population, and I happen ...

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Thread: I am not Mexican!

  1. #1
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    I am not Mexican!

    There's nothing wrong with being Mexican; I'm just tired of explaining why I don't speak Spanish.

    Nashville has a large Hispanic population, and I happen to live smack dab in the Little Mexico part of town. I have dark hair and when I'm out in the sun a lot, my olive skin turns brown. I'm also short (but taller than most Hispanics ).

    Sometimes when I'm out with my pearly-white Mrshonts, I notice the same look from people that my parents got when we first moved to a small southern town. There goes the neighborhood!

    Sometimes people think I'm Native American, Samoan or Eskimo, but most of the time it's Mexican. Very few think I'm part Asian (there was this girl in grade school who kept calling me "*****"). I don't have slanted eyes, I have almond ones. And I don't have black hair - mine is curly dark brown. (When you stand me alongside my 6' 1" pearly white dad and 5' Vietnamese mom, then you can see.)

    So I have all sorts of people walk up to me and start talking to me in Spanish. I had two years of Spanish in high school, which has all gone out the other ear. I just speak English. I know some Viet words here and there and some popular words of other languages.

    I love Mexican food. Whenever I go to the Mexican restaurant, I make sure I say "hello" before the waiter says anything.

    One time this Hispanic guy was confused and asked why I didn't speak Spanish. (Some people are very particular about ethnic pride by maintaining the language of their people. Some people are the opposite, like my great-grandfather, who banned German from being spoken in his house. He immigrated to the U.S. from Germany.) So I tell him I'm half Vietnamese and half white, which surprised him. He pointed to my bright orange shirt and the green jewelry (jade) and said that not only did I look Mexican, I dressed in Mexican colors. Oh, okay.

    I've also come across a few white guys who try to "practice their Spanish" on me.

    And then there's the ones who think I don't speak English at all and really condescend. That's when I pull off my best Yankee. I'm sorry, would you like me to speak slower so you understand?

    I wish I knew German. I'd really confuse them.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

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  3. #2
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    So you're saying you really don't speak Spanish? Just kiddin'! But you sure speak the gun and self-defense language fluently!!!

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Betty I'll be honest. I'd probably think at a glance you were Mexican too, but that's because I've been surrounded by Mexican people my whole life.

    And that has taught me one very valuable lesson: Mexican people may or may not speak Spanish, and their level of fluency is likely to be somewhere between high school Spanish class and native speaker. Most Mexican people I know speak either just a little Spanish, or more frequently they use code switching, coversing in English and Spanish all at once. But I've known lots of them who are native Americans who were born here and don't speak Spanish at all.

    I've learned not to assume what people are or are not, and honestly, I just don't care. I want to live in a world where we can fill out job applications without checking what ethnic group we belong to.

  5. #4
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    I just remembered the one instance where I was mistaken for being black. When I was a teenager, I was a waitress at a little diner. I was serving a group of black ladies, and they kept staring at me and whispering amongst themselves. Finally, one of them piped up and said, "Are you black or part black?" No, my mom's Asian. "Oh, well... you kinda look like us, so we were just wondering."

    When I used to work at my parents' hardware store, in came a customer who asked me, "Hey, where's that Cuban lady who always runs the register?" You mean my mother? She's Vietnamese. (Apparently he didn't hear me.) "Yeah, there's Cubans all over Florida, and they keep coming over by boat. There's like 100,000 of them! (waves hands frantically) Where's the Cuban lady at today?" You mean my mother?

    Mom doesn't look Cuban. She looks Eskimo.

    My brother on the other hand - he looks Mexican. He has jet black hair and gets really brown every summer. And he was the one mistaken for a skinhead because he was wearing boots and had a short buzz! The person who mistook him was a former schoolmate of mine, who didn't realize "the skinhead" was my brother. "Yeah, me and bunch of guys were going to go over and beat him up because we thought he was a skinhead." Yep. That would've been a fatal error.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

  6. #5
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    I've learned not to assume what people are or are not
    Euc has that nailed!!

    I had not fully ''placed'' you Betty, re origins - just knew that you are one classy lady with a very good (and attractive) head on your shoulders.

    That is enough for me - and, forget the Spanish!
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    Betty

    You'll Always Be "Our Lovely Little Enchilada" no matter what nationality you are.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array Wayne's Avatar
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    My dad looks hispanic (and has no hispanic blood in him), my mom looks like a normal "white" lady, and I look like a geek , or one of those lone serial killers you see on tv

    (Actually got "hauled in" to the police station once because I fit to a T the description of a serial rapist in the area. Scared the living poop out of me and it took 5 hours for them to realize that I wasn't their man).

    Wayne

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    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    Betty, you always look "exotic" in your pics, but I could never quite figure out your background. With your looks and brains, Mr Shonts is a lucky guy.

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    Betty, I lived in Cancun three years. I learned to speek a little. I also learned that is what you mean, not how you say it, that matters. It's what you look for, not what you look like, that matters. I try to read every word of all your posts.
    Liberty, Property, or Death - Jonathan Gardner's powder horn inscription 1776

    Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
    ("Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.")
    -Virgil, Aeneid, vi, 95

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    Senior Member Array tanksoldier's Avatar
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    I admit I took you for Italian from your avatar pic.

    My wife is half Mexican, everybody wonders why she doesn't speak Spanish. Her mom did, and her mom's family is REALLY Mexican, but I speak more Spanish than she does. She just never picked it up I guess.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

  12. #11
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    I guessed ya might be part native american, but guess I was way off. Of course guys are gonna wanna talk to ya, you are beautiful. Mrshonts is a lucky guy.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array jdsumner's Avatar
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    ?Que?

    Dan

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Senor Summer habla espanol muy bien.

    Soy de Texas y hablo un poco de espanol. Tengo much gusto en hablando "El queso es in mis zapatos por los gatos".

    En verdad, es loco hablar esta cosa, pero no se mucho espanol.

  15. #14
    Member Array ibex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty
    I wish I knew German. I'd really confuse them.
    I might be able to help you with that.

    When someone talks to you in non-english, just say the phrase:

    "Es tut mir leid, ich verstehe kein Wort von dem, was Sie sagen."
    Translation:
    "I'm sorry, I don't understand a word of what you're saying."

    Just promise to take and post a picture of their faces!
    Last edited by ibex; October 6th, 2005 at 03:56 PM.

  16. #15
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    I admit I took you for Italian from your avatar pic.
    Ha, ha - that's a new one!

    Euc:
    The best I could get the babelfish translator to do was:
    Senor Summer speaks espanol very well. I am of Texas and I speak a little of espanol. I have much taste in speaking "the cheese is in my shoes by the cats". In truth, he is crazy to speak this thing, but not much espanol.

    ibex:
    Sorry - I played that clip over and over and the most I can imitate is something that sounds like coughing up a hairball. If you can spell it out phonetically for me, I might be able to do better. (And that's when someone who really does know German says, "Oh cool! She speaks German!" And then proceeds to have a conversation with me while I stare blankly in return. )

    And welcome to the boards!

    ---

    It's funny to see how many Viet Nam war movies have the VC speaking in Chinese or some asian language other than Vietnamese. I'll pick on mom and say, "So what are they saying, mom!" And she'll say, "I don't know! They're speaking Chinese!"
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

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